MARIENLYST (VG) (Norway U21 3-0 Estonia U21) The Norwegian U21 team was criticized for its handling of set pieces in the loss to Croatia. They responded with two pieces from set pieces in the victory over Estonia.
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Two of Norway’s three goals came from set pieces, shortly after Tore André Flo, assistant coach of the Norwegian Under-21 team, in the half-time interview told VGTV that they “worked hard” with the ball plays. stopped.
The first set piece goal came from substitute captain Jørgen Strand Larsen, who had the captain’s armband as Erik Botheim did not start the game, and the second came from substitute left-back Martin Palumbo.
– I think it is important to look at the development of dead balls, and there we have to go up. We took a big step there today. It was good against Austria and more recently also against Estonia. So it’s the Croatia match that bothers us a bit, says national team manager Leif Gunnar Smerud to VGTV after the match.
Norway were the big favorites against Estonia, and needed to fight back with a win after the 2-3 loss to group favorite Croatia. Then came all the goals from Croatia from set pieces, and Leif Gunnar Smerud’s men had to endure criticism from experts after their handling of defensive set pieces.
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The two set pieces came after Tobias Christensen had given Norway a dream start to the match at 1-0 after just four minutes of play.
Put under pressure
Italian professional Palumbo is normally a midfielder, but replaced Leif Gunnar Smerud on the left, who made five changes to the squad since Croatia’s defeat.
– Any role is fun to play. I love to play wherever I play. I’m just trying to do my best, says Palumbo, who says he “had to score today,” since his mother has a birthday.
But 3-0, full control in the second half and clean cage for Kristoffer Klaesson despite:
It was by no means a boarding against Estonia, Norway’s group jumbo team. Also here Norway had problems in fixed situations.
In the 1-0 position against Norway, at the end of the first half, Estonia pressed for the equalizer and had two shots off the crossbar. The Norwegian team was under pressure from Estonia during periods of the first half, but after the break it was almost exclusively Norway.
An early goal from Jørgen Strand Larsen in the second half gave the Norwegian team peace of mind. The Groningen striker rose to the top after a corner kick and headed with the ball in control in the far corner. Then the air got out of Estonia a bit, and the Norwegian team did not go to the big tests for the last 45 minutes.
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This allowed Smerud to make various team changes and give several players playing time. Martin Palumbo stabbed just over a quarter before the end at 3-0 and secured a comfortable victory, but Norway had plenty of opportunities to further embellish the result.
– We started well and we are in full control. It’s a bit inexperienced at times and takes place in a series of breaks that we would rather not have. But it’s good that we stay calm and carry on, Smerud tells VGTV, adding that they should preferably have had a few more goals.
– We lacked a bit of spark and energy in the second part where we were able to paint a little more. We make some stupid decisions in some situations, he says.
– We were disappointed with the pace and focused game after the first half. In the second half, Norway is painting and Estonia has nothing. I still want more breadth in the game, but the second half is fully approved, says soccer expert Joacim Jönsson on VGTV’s post-match broadcast.
The three points mean that Norway moves up to second place in the group with nine points after four games.
Austria is number three with the same number of points, only behind Norway on goal difference, but they have also played one more match. On Tuesday night they were very successful, losing 1-3 to Finland.
Croatia leads the group with twelve points and a full pot after four games after a 5-1 win over Azerbaijan on Tuesday night.